Tuesday, June 10

White House *strongly* implies Hagel made the decision; Hagel say Obama made it. Ya think someone's lying?

As the fallout grows over Team Obama's exchange of five top Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl, White House officials are emphasizing that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was the one who "signed off" on the deal.

According to a congressional source, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken refused to answer directly when asked point-blank during a briefing with House lawmakers Monday evening who made the final decision to go ahead with the swap.  The source said Blinken would only respond by saying: "Secretary Hagel signed off on it."   

If you're a rational adult, surely we don't need to point out that Hagel would not have had the authority to actually make the final decision on this.  The White House is trying to get you to *think* it was Hagel--by using the very careful phrase "signed off on the deal"--but stops short of actually saying Hagel made the decision.

Because, of course, he didn't.  And it's fun watching the weasels in the White House try to spin the truth.  They think all of us are morons.  Cuz, you know, a lot of us live in flyover country so....

The source noted that Hagel wasn't present in the Rose Garden when President Obama announced the release alongside Bergdahl's parents.   Rather, Obama was happy to take credit.  But now that there's controversy, the WH is implying that Hagel made the decision.

On a Sunday talk show Hagel said: "I signed off on the decision.  The president made the ultimate decision." 

Asked Tuesday to clarify who made the final call, White House spokesman Josh Earnest gave a vague non-responsive answer, saying it's the commander-in-chief's responsibility to make sure no servicemember is left behind. Asked again whether Obama approved the swap, Earnest pointed to the president's role in reviewing security concerns about releasing the five Gitmo detainees.

"The president determined that ... that threat to our national security had been sufficiently mitigated," he said. "That was something that the secretary of Defense also certified. But ... that was also the widespread, unanimous agreement of the president's national security team."

How 'bout it, Barack?  It's an easy, easy question: Did you make the final decision, or did Hagel?

After all, you said "I make no apologies" for the decision, so you should be willing to admit making it, eh?

I won't hold my breath waiting for a straight answer.


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